Sweet Potato Cheesecake {Recipe}

Putting sweet potato in a cheesecake probably sounds like a crazy idea. I’m going to be completely honest with you all, when someone first asked me to make them a sweet potato cheesecake, I thought they were insane. I mean, sweet potato cheesecake? Come on. Weirdly though, it totally works.

If you were reading my blog a couple of years ago, you probably remember me first posting about sweet potato cheesecake when a friend of mine, Jabari, challenged me to make it because he said it wouldn’t be able to compete with his aunt’s. I didn’t and still don’t make a whole lot of cheesecake.

He wouldn’t let me share that recipe with you guys so I just posted the story. I have made this cheesecake a couple of times since then and let me tell you, I think I’ve made a cheesecake that will rival his aunt’s.

Originally, he told me he’d be visiting Portland this summer so I asked him for some tips to make my cheesecake better than its original incarnation. He called me up and gave me some tips – orange sweet potato, no need for any toppings, some spices but not too many. I took his tips and made this cheesecake for when he decided to come and visit.

He didn’t. This picture is from just before he abandoned Oregon for Texas. (I still have that knee brace…)

So I made this cheesecake, took some pictures, froze it, and then took a couple of slices to my friend’s place where we ate it on a rooftop overlooking Portland and talked about life. As you do.

I wasn’t going to post this recipe until it had the Jabari seal of approval – given that he’s the only person I know that really knows sweet potato cheesecake. But I got tired of waiting for him to maybe come to Portland and try it so once it got the seal of approval from my friend, I decided I’d go ahead and post it, with or without him trying it.

Apparently he’s gone vegan now, so he wouldn’t be able to eat this anyway. Definitely not vegan friendly.

So here ya go. I think it’s the greatest sweet potato cheesecake ever and until someone tells me otherwise or I try one that blows me away, I’ll continue to think that. I still have some of this cheesecake just hanging out in my freezer so if any Portlanders are wanting to try this, I’ve got you covered. Everyone else will just have to make their own. Sorry :/

Sweet Potato Cheesecake


  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked mashed sweet potato


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a springform pan with cooking spray, place a circle of parchment on the bottom and spray again.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and combine until crumbs are evenly moist. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until a light golden brown. Set aside.
  1. In a bowl, combine both sugars, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sugar mixture and combine. On a low speed, add the eggs one at a time, making sure one is incorporated before adding the next. Add the sour cream and mix well to combine. Finally, add the sweet potatoes and thoroughly combine.
  3. Put the springform pan with the crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the batter into the prepared crust leaving 1/4" at the top of the pan. You may or may not use all of the batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cheesecake looks dry on the surface and is mostly set, with only a little jiggle if you move it. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there, with the door ajar, for about an hour. Place on a wire rack for a further two hours to cool.
  4. Once cooled on the wire rack, refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  5. To serve, let it stand at room temperature for a hour before removing the springform pan edges. Run a thin spatula (I used an offset spatula) between the crust and the parchment and place on a serving plate. Run a knife under hot water, wipe it dry and use to cut slices, wiping between each slice.

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